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What Happens When a Report Is Made to CPS or ACS?

CPS or ACSWhen a report is made either CPS or ACS is required to initiate an investigation. They must take this action within 24 hours of the report being made. The purpose of the investigation by CPS or ACS is to evaluate whether a child is being mistreated or neglected. They also have to look into whether there are other children in the home and determine if there is a risk to the other children, as well.

Child Removal

ACS or CPS can take a child or children into protective custody if they feel it is necessary to prevent further abuse from occurring. After an assessment is made, either CPS or ACS can offer the family what they feel are appropriate services to deal with any situation that exists.

In addition CPS or ACS have an obligation and the legal authority to bring an application to Family Court to remove the child or children from the household. In emergency situations, the child or children can be removed immediately without a court order.

Domestic Violence Situations

CPS and ACS are Social Services Agencies. They do not have the power to make arrests. In domestic violence situations, the CPS or ACS workers can remove the children for the household to prevent them from being exposed to domestic violence. Their job is to protect children from child abuse. They cannot prosecute the abuser; arrest him or her or prosecute the abuser. However, they can report the situation to the police to investigate the abuser.

CPS or ACS Investigations vs Criminal Investigations

CPA and ACS investigations are solely undertaken to determine if a child or children need to be protected from future abuse or neglect. In criminal investigations involving child abuse, the police gather evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime has been committed.

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